The Los Angeles Lakers won’t be completely healthy when they tip off the 2018-19 NBA season Thursday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, as Alex Caruso (right hip strain) and rookie Moe Wagner (left knee contusion) have both been ruled out.
It was largely expected with Wagner, as he suffered the injury that cut his Las Vegas Summer League short, lingered into the offseason, and prevented him from playing in any of the six preseason games.
Wagner recently resumed on-court activities, but has been limited to non-contact drills and controlled settings in 3-on-3 scrimmages. The Lakers have not provided a timeline for his return, but it stands to reason Wagner wouldn’t be seen for at least a couple weeks.
Meanwhile, that Carsuo, who is on a two-way contract, isn’t available doesn’t come as much of a surprise. He was among the several players who were held out of the preseason finale due to some form of injury or rest.
It’s plausible that Caruso may not have suited up for the Lakers anyhow, as Lonzo Ball and Rajon Rondo are both healthy and in line to handle duties at point guard.
Caruso appeared in 37 games last season, making seven starts, and averaging 3.6 points and 2.0 assists.
The Lakers are otherwise healthy heading into a new season that comes with heightened expectations. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was receiving treatment for tendinitis but as head coach Luke Walton suggested, it’s not believed to be an issue that will cause him to miss games.
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